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Star Trek 11 (2009) Does It Do Justice to Star The Original Series?
Star Trek Why The 5 Year Voyage Never Finished
The facts are well known - the original series of Star Trek ran from 1966 to 1969 - there were only 71 episodes made. Some of them were appalling bad - Spock's Brain - comes to mind. But Star Trek lived on - before youtube and twitter and websites Star Trek didn't die. Before video - guys - truly you only saw Star Trek when a network decided to broadcast it - some episodes I never saw until a decade later because my mother had decided I needed to do something rather than watch TV that day! I didn't see it in colour until the 1980's! But Star Trek lived on...
But Star Trek didn't die. Star Trek continued on, initially in under-ground fan-fiction - this was when you wrote stories and got them published somehow, in books. They were hard to get in New Zealand but you could mail order them, at one point I owned most that were in print.
Before the mash-up was invented - that's what you did if a story hadn't finished - you made your own, fans wrote, the compiled every know fact about Star Trek (there was only one in those days), the endlessly discussed the details, the inconsitencies in the universe, the good, the bad and the awful episodes.
Before forums and facebook groups there were Star Trek Conventions -I don't know if Star Trek fans were the first to create conventions over a TV show which was long-dead, in the days before any show ever came back - but I strongly suspect they were.That was were you could go and meet people who thought the same as you did about an obscure long-cancelled TV show. I remember going to small one in my home town when I was a 15 - probably the only girl there and the youngest - it was amazing there were adults who though Star Trek was cool too - what a revelation!
The Trouble With Tribbles - Original Series
Amok Time: Original Series
WhyStar Trek Never Died
I suspect that there has been PhD thesis written on the Star Trek phenomen was and the psychology of it. I don't know I haven't read them. You see I didn't have to do any research for this article - because I have all the information in my head - I've been a fan since I saw the first episode... It appealed to me then at age 8, it stayed with to this day - nearly 40 years later.
Like I said, I haven't done the research but I can tell you why Star Trek appealed to that eight-year-old and still captivates this middle-aged woman:
- Star Trek "boldy went where no man has gone before" - they didn't obey the rules, Kirk didn't obey the rules, sometimes even Spock didn't. I had to obey the rules, I had to go to school, to uni, to work - I liked that they didn't.
Star Trek was about friendship. For most of my childhood I wanted a friend as close to me as Spock was to Kirk. No there are no confusing gender or sexual orientation issues in that statement. I was a girl - I related to the Spock - because he was scientist and I wanted to be - note to PC correct authors - you don't have to have gender-balanced heros - kids figure it out. And it was obvious to that 8 year old that Kirk and Spock were very good friends - because they saved each other's lives and just once Kirk's survival made Spock smile - which made that smile the most special piece of TV I ever saw! (To this day seeing Leonard Nimoy smile seems slightly odd to me!)
It didn't happen often but when they told a good story it was really, really good - "The City of the Edge of Forever" when Kirk gets the girl (not unusual, and she was Joan Collins) but then has to let her die to fix up history. "Amok Time" - when Spock fights Kirk to Kirk's death, "The Trouble With Tribbles" which although it looks terribly over-acted now still makes me laugh.
Star Trek broke rules - although to today's eyes it looks sexist it was in fact ground breaking for the time including Uhuru as character rather than a "black character" - she was just hte communications officer who happened to be black, and a woman.
Star Trek was inter-racial including a Scotsman and even a Southerner- At the height of the cold-war a Russian, who was proud of being Russian, was included in the command structure. Star Trek had the first black/white kiss on US network TV. Star Trek had story lines which included stopping wars, making people sit down and talk to each other, recognising that not all civilisations may not be white and speak American English, this while the Vietnam conflict was in full-swing and conscription was happening in many countries including America and Australia. An Asian was on the bridge of the Enterprise too.
Oddly enough those ideas have survived -look at the clips today and all you will see is bad acting and worse sets and special effects. In fact, for the time the effects were quite good - remember that this was a low-budget TV show in the days before CGI or computers - the Enterprise was a model, the alien landscapes were built on a backlot. That's why time-travel was quite a popular plot device - they probably had a ready-made set lying around for 1930's Chicago so we get "The Piece of the Action" .
Star Trek on Amazon
Star Trek Re-Born
I remember being so excited when the first movie came out in 1979 - "Star Trek the Movie"- it was awful. It had all the special effects, I saw it in colour, but it was awful. The special effects were good but the story was rubbish - the costumes were distractingly bad.
I was devastated - you see in the old days before instant re-runs and video you built a story and a universe in your head. Even though the originally a TV series I hadn't seen it for years (my country had 2 TV channels at the time - neither did sci-fi) - the story was in your head, in your mind's eye - and Star Trek the Movie was not what I was imagining!
The Next Generation - forget it - you see for me Star Trek wasn't about the Enterprise and the Federation - it was about Kirk, Spock and McCoy - if they weren't in it wasn' t my Star Trek
Does Star Trek 11 Do Justice To the Original Star Trek
I think it will - the reivews to date suggest that that some effort might have been put into the plot as well as the special effects. The clips I've seen ring true as a back-story for Kirk and Spock. - I haven't seen it yet so I can't comment further but to be honest I am more hopeful than usual that this Star Trek Will Boldy Go Where No One Has Gone Before!
UPDATE - check out my review of Star Trek 11 here!
Where You Fan of the Original Series
More Reading On Star Trek
- STARTREK.COM: Sensor Sweep
- "Star Trek" (1966) on IMTB
Created by Gene Roddenberry. With Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, DeForest Kelley. Capt. Kirk and the crew of the Starship Enterprise explore space and defend the United Federation of Planets. Visit IMDb for Photos, Showtimes, Cast, Crew, Reviews, Pl
- CBS Classics
Watch Star Trek Video on CBS.com. Full Episodes, Clips and Behind the Scenes footage.
- Star Trek - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia